Evil Gal Productions

Mere Smith
is a recovering Southerner,
longtime TV writer,
author and blogger.
January 6th, 2015 by Mere Smith

#BGCP – The Video


So that’s me. Super close. No make-up. Some days I’m good with that face. Some days less.

* * *

Growing up, almost everyone goes through an awkward phase.

Me, I went through an agonizing phase. Like a Spanish Inquisition phase (and who expects that?). I did the braces, the headgear – my teeth looked like they’d been in tiny car crashes with each other – sported vast ranges of throbbing red and yellow zits, and – I shit you not – rocked a Farrah Fawcett winged mullet with a spiral perm in the back.

Sad fucking mess, y’all. Sad fucking mess.

‘Course, all that sucked on its own, but when I was 12, I also had an unfortunate crush on one of the most popular boys at my school, Scott S.

“Unfortunate,” because when you’re poor, nerdy and – let’s be honest – at the least attractive point in your entire life – not to mention wielding a bottomless abyss where your self-esteem should be – WOW, lemme tell you, are you guy bait.

Still, I fantasized about slow-dancing with Scott S. in the gym at the school dance, getting roses on Valentine’s Day, him proudly introducing me to (anybody) as his girlfriend. But one day, a few minutes before the start of Geography, a friend of mine asked Scott S. if he liked me.

Scott S. laughed loudly.

“Hell no!” he shouted in the crowded classroom. “Meredyth’s a DOG!”

I was 10 feet away.

gutpunch gutpunch gutpunch

My disproportionate response was as follows:

For four solid years of high school, I DID NOT STEP FOOT OUTSIDE MY HOUSE unless my face was completely covered in concealer, foundation, powder, blush, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. In the Florida heat, this meant I looked like a melting clown for most of the day – but if you asked me, even a melting clown was better than my real face. And I did four years of that shit, day in, day out, relentlessly, exhaustingly, getting up at 5 a.m. for a 7:30 a.m. bell, just to make sure I looked “pretty.”

Just to make sure I wasn’t a DOG.

Thing is, that was nearly three decades ago, and though I’ve graduated to mostly not giving a shit (the laziness helps), every so often I’ll look in the mirror and still feel the sting of those words – “Meredyth’s a DOG!” – coupled with the feeling that looking “pretty” is the only thing that makes me worthy of, well… anything.

And what’s worse is, I’m not alone in thinking that.

* * *

I heard Sia’s “Big Girls Cry” after I bought her album “1000 Forms of Fear” (and then “We Are Born” and then “Colour the Small One” and… look, Sia is phenomenal and you should just buy all her shit, is what I’m saying). As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’d been looking for a music video to collaborate on – something simple, but that had some meaning – when I heard the lyrics:

                              I may cry, ruining my make-up

                             Wash away all the things you’ve taken

                             And I don’t care if I don’t look pretty

                            Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking

Naturally, the line about make-up was an instant flashback to high school, and suddenly the video I wanted to make unspooled in my head as if I were already watching it.

I’d found the song.

Now I just had to find some women who were willing to trust me enough to create art out of their pain.

* * *

The main goal was to tackle the idea of the beauty standard – and confront the fact that no matter how perfect the “mask” we wear, most women carry pain and insecurity about our looks underneath it. However, by allowing ourselves to transform that pain into tears, something that washes away and liberates us from the mask, we reclaim our authentic – and more authentically beautiful – selves.

With #BGCP – or Big Girls Cry Project – I wanted to dig under the make-up. I wanted to explore the feelings underneath the mask, the stories these women had to tell about their own experiences with the beauty standard. I knew I wasn’t alone in harboring the scars.

We took that classic 80’s/90’s mall staple, Glamour Shots, as our starting point.


If you’ve never heard of Glamour Shots (or don’t feel like following the link), it was a photography studio (usually in a mall) that hired a professional make-up artist and hairstylist to turn you into “your most glamorous self” – then took photos of you against incredibly ugly backgrounds, under terrible lighting, so you were DEFINITELY the most attractive thing in frame. Glamour Shots’ specialties were cheesy satin outfits, rhinestones, cowboy hats, big, big, BIG hair, and – the classic – a denim jacket with the collar popped. Basically, if there was a prop you could regret, Glamour Shots would give it to you. It was the epitome of a “beauty standard” – because all Glamour Shots had a somewhat creepy, identical feel. Same chin-tilts, same collar-pops – only the faces were different – but you couldn’t really tell that under all the make-up.

Likewise, though I had crowdsourced pretty much everything else in the shoot – studio, cameras, lighting, costumes (everyone shared stuff they brought in with everyone else; I’d put out the call for the “tackiest sexy things you own”) – I knew I needed professional make-up and hair to really drive home the point – and those were the only two paid positions on the shoot. Everything else you see was made in the name of ART! Which is to say, for free, out of the goodness of people’s hearts and their belief in the project. I will always be grateful to everyone who made #BGCP possible. I love you.

* * *

It was my Number One Priority to make sure the women in this video felt comfortable and safe – both with me and with the concept of the shoot.

However -

“When was the first time you ‘realized’ you weren’t as pretty as the other girls?”

– was the first question I asked them all on camera. Yes, it was a mean question. An intentionally mean question, like poking a dentist’s tool right into a nerve. Combing through the footage to edit the video, I can’t tell you the number of times I cried, hearing the stories that arose from my asking it. (And believe me, I felt like a total shitheel for asking – but I wanted to immediately break through their defenses – a shock and awe introduction to the process, if you will.)

But that mean question? Every woman had an answer to it.

Every. Single. One.

With the camera running, I led them through dark topics, dark memories. All the tears you see in the video are real. These women discussed the ways the beauty standard had hurt them, left them scarred, left them feeling unworthy. By the end of the day, half of me wanted to sleep for 20 years, and the other half of me wanted to gather all these women in my arms and never let them go. It literally hurt something inside my chest: couldn’t they all see how amazing and gorgeous they were? And yet, what got me through it – maybe what got us all through it – was the laughter that came after the tears. Despite the emotional trauma we’d just been through together, the joking, the clowning, the teasing amongst ourselves helped us cope.

Women are remarkably good at that, remarkably resilient. Because we have to be.


And I want to share that with the world.

Big Girls Cry Project from Evil Gal Productions on Vimeo.

January 5th, 2015 by Mere Smith

#BGCP – The Intro


One year ago today, I moved into a small, isolated cabin in the middle of the Washington woods. It was a self-imposed retreat of sorts – from many things, to do many things – and I wound up staying there ten weeks.

My original goal was to write an “Elementary” spec script. (Yeah, still not done. Still eating the core of my soul. I’ll finish it one day, I tell myself. I hope I’m not lying to myself. It’d be such a dick move.) And for the most part it went well – I wrote and did yoga every day, read tons of books, and generally got my head together – except the whole time I spent in my little cabin, I had that nagging feeling, the one where you can’t quite remember something you’re supposed to remember, and it might just be important enough to fuck shit up if you can’t remember it, so what the hell is it, what is it, what is it?

I talked about it here.

Tl;dr – basically, it came down to refusing to act out of fear and remaining true to yourself – though in Western Lit when doesn’t it come down to remaining true to yourself? – and if I was going to be true – if I really wanted to be brave and keep growing as an artist, like I’d proclaimed so boldly (all mouth, no teeth, sometimes I’d wince, thinking about it) – I decided I had to do something creatively that would scare the shit out of me.

Because if it doesn’t scare the shit out of you – what are you being brave about?

I flew back to L.A. in March, uncertain as to what my Scary Creative Whatever was gonna be. I went back and forth between notions – some less or more horrific than others (blow off Hollywood and dedicate a year to finishing The Novel vs. do stand-up comedy)(night terrors about the second one, y’all; I’d rather be deboned like a fish, still alive and screaming) – but eventually it dawned on me what I really wanted. What I was really missing.

I wanted to shoot something. With a camera. Which I hadn’t done in years.

A few of you may already know the story of The Sound Department That Destroyed My Short Action Film, “The Enforcers”. (And holy shit does it amuse me no end – check it here – that IMDb lists it as a “TV Mini-Series”, with an 8-star rating from 30 reviewers – considering no one has ever fucking laid eyes on it. Seriously.) For those who don’t know that story? Really, it’s all in the title. And before you ask: no, I’ll never resurrect it. With a nod to Sam Shepard, it is my Buried Child.

After that humbling catastrophe early in my career, I shied away from indie directing and focused on writing exclusively – one, because after all that hard work, I didn’t just get burned by “Enforcers,” I got motherfucking Pompeii’d – so two, I didn’t want to rely on anyone else in order to be creative. Sure, occasionally I got rewritten on shows – sometimes for the better, sometimes really not so much – but that’s part of the business side of the business. However, when it came to stuff I did independently, if anybody was gonna fuck up my art, by god it was gonna be me, and that was okay because I was used to fucking up my art all the time. (Ask Eric Sipple, the beleaguered editor for my first book, Cowface And Other Hilarious Stories About Death. I was changing shit the day we went to press.)

But all these years later – and only after the painful process of prying open my rusted heart and mind to the idea of collaborative indie art again – to the idea of really trusting other people creatively again – somewhat to my own surprise, I finally found myself ready to shoot…

…uh, something.

I knew I didn’t want anything near the enormous multi-day, multi-location, multiple fight-scenes shoot of “Enforcers,” though. I just wanted to dip a toe back in, to prove to myself I could shake off the whim-whams. I wanted something bite-sized, single-serving. I was already swamped, developing an original TV series for two successful producers; I wanted something I could shoot in a weekend – no, a single day – and perhaps most importantly, most vehemently: I did not want to fuck with sound.

That’s when I thought… music video.

The song is one long track. No actors to NOT HEAR (EVEN THOUGH YOU HAD ONE JOB BUT I’M NOT STILL BITTER I SWEAR TO GOD). No spaces to fill with looped room tone. No levels to adjust.

And despite the artistic collaboration I was hoping to solicit, I could still indulge my doppelcontrolfreäk by choosing to edit the video myself – that was, if I could teach myself how to use Final Cut Pro X –


(This is a screengrab off Google. No super-cool cars in #BGCP.)

– an editing program about which I knew exactly 0%. In fact, up ‘til a few months ago, almost the entirety of my editing experience came from TV shows, from sitting in a dark room, sharing a bagel with a Real Editor while I yammered notes and the Real Editor did all the work.

Now I wanted to know how to edit, myself. (FYI, that last comma’s really important.) It actually became one of the most attractive aspects of The Project – as I’d begun to call it in my head – a chance to expand my skill set, so no matter what (or if) I chose to shoot in the future, my momentum wouldn’t hinge on, “But who will I get to edit it?”[1] That giant step in the direction of artistic self-sufficiency was immensely appealing, utterly intimidating – and ultimately more gratifying than I could’ve dreamed.

Now, anyone who knows me or reads the blog knows I’m an Amanda Palmer fan. Her indie crowdsourcing influence was a major reason why I returned to collaborative art at all. I’d had an idea noodling in my head almost two years – a music video for her song “The Assistant” – but if I was gonna do it right, it’d be a big shoot, and if I couldn’t shoot it big, I wanted to save the idea. (You never know when you’re gonna need one of them fuckers.)

Then I thought, Well, why not another music video instead?

But it’d have to be an easy one. Easy peasy. Even lemon squeezy.

Which tonally, meant the message behind it had to be simple, too. Plain. Unadorned.

And that’s when I heard the song.

The imagery was instant, the theme almost universal. But terrifyingly, the only way it would actually work was if I could get people to talk to me, to be honest, to trust me with their pain. To literally collaborate with them in turning their own grief and ache into art. It was a tremendous responsibility. But…

…I’ll describe more about The Project – what its participants came to call #BGCP – tomorrow…

…and release the video.



[1] Again, my partner in The Asylum Collective, Eric Sipple – aka Princess Sippy Cup – was invaluable here, giving me a 2-hour overview of the basics of Final Cut, and then fielding my frantic phone calls when I was positive I’d erased everything we’d shot. I was only right that one time.


November 23rd, 2014 by Mere Smith

Dear Amanda, About Last Night

Dear Amanda,

About last night.

Let me introduce myself, since – much to my chagrin – I didn’t get a chance.

My name is Mere Smith, and I’m a writer. I became aware of you in early 2012, when I heard about your Kickstarter campaign and started listening to your songs.

“Holy shit,” I thought. “This chick’s got brass ovaries and she’s amazingly talented! Hook me up!”

I downloaded “Theatre Is Evil” and paid what I wanted – and as a fellow artist, kicked in a little extra because I know how hard the fucking job is. In the interim, I’ve bought everything in your back catalog, from the Dresden Dolls’ albums to “Who Killed Amanda Palmer” to Evelyn Evelyn and everything in between. I’ve watched your videos, interviews, seen you live – and your TED talk changed the way I think about art and commerce. I read your blog, follow you on Twitter, sent in fabric for your signing tour kimono, and purchased two copies of your book, The Art of Asking – one for me, and one for a friend. What I’m saying here is:

I am your fan.

Not because I’m a star-whore who worships the ground you walk on (write TV for 15 years: it’s an easy way to get maximally disillusioned by celebrity), but because I truly believe in your message. I believe in the worth of your art, the worth of you, as a human being, existing and loving. I believe in your authenticity and am inspired by your strength and willingness to strive for compassion in all areas of your life.

I see you.

But here’s the thing: you’re right. Last night’s signing in L.A. was a shitshow.

A shitshow for you – as you’ve made evident today over Twitter and Instagram – as well as for me. And to be forthright – which painful as it might be, I think you’d appreciate – I wasn’t entirely surprised. Your work has always been pretty clear about what you think of L.A. – overly fond? not so much! – which completely sucks balls, since I live here, and you rarely come through. Even so, I can understand why.

Yes, Hollywood is full of your polar opposites – full of power-hungry sociopaths whose only key to success is making sure others fail. (Let’s be honest: duh.) But judging by the hundreds of people who waited on line for hours yesterday – both before the show and after – you should also be able to see that L.A. is plenty heterogenous, containing multitudes, including free-thinkers who actively seek out voices like yours.

So the L.A. bias? Your very palpable dread of the place? Meh – I get it. I’m not saying I’m over the moon about it, but I get it.

However, that wasn’t the whole reason behind the shitshow. Neither was the “bungly venue,” as you called it. It wasn’t even the chick heckler (the checkler?), or the painful uncomfortability of watching someone who wrote “really fucking horrible things” about you literally ask you for more by requesting to play onstage. (Hey, forgiveness is between the two of y’all, and you presented a fine – even supremely poised – example of compassion last night, no matter how uncomfortable it might have made me or anyone else. As I’m sure you already know, it’s not your responsibility to make everyone feel okay about your personal choices.) Even the monstrously late start time, the monsterier show length, and the insurmountable signing line – sorry, but I bailed at midnight, it was ridonk – all of this I was prepared for. After all, life is messy and complicated and full of unexpected fuck-ups.

Contingit stercore.

Yet out of all those complications and fuck-ups – none of them made me angry.

But I am angry.

I went to bed angry. I woke up angry.

In fact, I’ve been sitting here all day asking myself, “Why am I so pissed about last night? Why am I not just happy I got to see her? What is wrong with me?”

Then I figured it out. (Not what’s wrong with me – that’d be a whole other letter.)

Generally I’m not one to make ad hominem attacks – which is what someone always says right before they make an ad hominem attack – especially since, as you discussed last night: people are real. Just because you let loose on the internet doesn’t mean that real people aren’t reading your words, and that real people don’t feel hurt by them.

That said, Bob Lefsetz was a total ass last night.

As a writer from the Deep South, I have both an extensive vocabulary and a hardwired inclination to politeness – and I assure you, “ass” is absolutely the most polite word I could come up with to describe your guest. I truly hope (and am fairly certain) you won’t re-watch the video of last night, because that icky weirdness you felt? Best as I can tell, almost everyone there felt it, too. And it might’ve been L.A., it might’ve been the venue, or the checkler, or the long wait times, or any other number of things. But for me, what killed your signing last night?

Was Bob Lefsetz being a straight-up sexist ass.

Because the songs you played? Rocked the fuck out.

The readings you did from your book? Were intimate and funny and moving.

But when Bob Lefsetz took over the stage – and I do mean “took over” – it was like watching your friend get punched in the face over and over again and being powerless to stop it.

Amanda, he ran over you so many times I lost count. Interrupted your answers with his own stories and anecdotes. Ran on about his blog, hated on his haters (it was like watching the Bizarro Amanda Palmer, repeatedly calling one of his critics “a motherfucking asshole” – or maybe it was “asshole motherfucker” – I wouldn’t want to misquote). He monopolized the quasi-conversation. Your book “doula” (and fabulous magician!), Jamy Ian Swiss, was given inexcusably short shrift because of Lefsetz’s continual self-righteous monologue – admitting no credit to dissent – about the music industry: in particular, his views on the recent Spotify dust-up featuring Taylor Swift – who is, to quote his recent blog, a “greedy, thoughtless person who’s only about the bucks.”*

You held your own there, insisting – as you do in your book – that artists should be able to choose however they distribute their music. And in my seat I was all, “Rah, Amanda! Stick up for women! Stick up for artists!”

But then he just got worse.

He asked you deeply personal questions you did not want to answer – questions I will not repeat here – questions that I have been asked and have not wanted to answer, most certainly not in front of hundreds of people. You, yourself, said something to the effect of, “Oh, I don’t really wanna go there” – yet still he pushed and pushed until it felt – at least to me – like you had no choice but to answer, or else betray your reputation for sharing your life with your audience. He didn’t seem to get what most people intrinsically know: that no matter how open you are about your life, some shit is personal, dude. It’s private. Lay off.

Walking back to the car, my fiancé (who only now, after three years of intense AFP-proselytizing, is beginning to get why I’m into your work), surprised me by saying, “You know, Amanda Palmer is so talented, and I really liked the parts of her book she read – but that Lefsetz guy, all that negativity, it fucked the whole night up.”

And that’s why I’m angry. Okay, that’s, like, 99% of why I’m angry.

The other 1%…

I’m angry with you, Amanda.

You’re one of my feminist icons. Sometimes when shit gets real, or when I take artistic risks, I make myself brave by thinking, “If Amanda Palmer was doing this, she would be brave. She might be scared, like I am, but then she’d be brave and do it anyway.” Then I get brave and do it anyway.

So why did you let him run over you? Why did you let him interrupt you time and again? Why did you let him push you and make you uncomfortable without saying “no”? Why did you let him talk and talk and talk when it was your night? Your book? Your tour? When the fuck did I buy tickets for the Bob Lefsetz Show and where can I return them?

I don’t know. Maybe this is victim-blaming, only I can’t see it because “victim” is the last word I’d ever use to describe you. Maybe I just needed to write all this down to sort it out in my head. Because what I’d been looking forward to for weeks was listening to you. And instead I got Bob “Ass” Lefsetz. For hours.

If you ever do come to L.A. again – though after last night I won’t hold my breath – will you please come alone? Or maybe bring Whitney, or Jamy, or Anthony, or Kambriel, or Neil, or a band, or some dancing monkeys or corporate CPAs who do mime – whatever – just bring someone who won’t figuratively punch you in the face?

Because I’m still working on my compassion, and next time I can’t guarantee I won’t punch back.




*Anyone who’d like to read Lefsetz’s bona fides when it comes to female musicians (apart from Joni Mitchell, who I’m convinced he thinks is the Second Coming), can Google his thoughts on Beyoncé, Feist, Adele, Grace Potter, and – while I’m at it – this charm of a quote about the fans at a One Direction concert:

“Students. Girls. Wanna get laid? Go to a 1D show. You won’t see odds this good at the prison of ‘Orange Is The New Black’. An endless sea of barely pubescent girls…”

That oughtta give you a starting point.

July 15th, 2014 by Mere Smith

If You Want To See Me Puke Onstage

Evening (/morning/afternoon/6:02 p.m. GMT), ladies and gentletoads!



A rare update from the whirlwind my life has become. All willingly and eager, fear not – but I can see Exhaustion from here, and she’s waving. So I’m trying to take care of myself, trying to walk slower while doing more faster. Two deadlines this weekend and a reading/signing on Saturday night, which is technically the reason I’ve called this board meeting, but it feels impolite to shill you without foreplay, so…

Répétez. Begin at the beginning.

As you may have noticed, the blog’s kinda taken a back seat at the mo’ – fabulous things are afoot, but there’s only so much writing you can do in a day without your brain dripping out your nose in grey splats. Things should calm down soon, though, and I plan to come back here and regale you with all my wacky adventures in… yeah okay I’m totally making this up. (The wackiest thing I’ve been doing lately is listening to Sia’s new album on repeat. Wild times.) At the very least, I’ll try to make future posts unsucky and not-boring. That is my A-1 Quality Writing Promise™ to you.

The great news is, I’ve started working with some sharp-ass producing partners who came to me with a very unusual idea – and now I’m getting to collaborate and elaborate on that idea in every direction. There’s no graphic novel or video game to adapt this time, just a premise, so I’m getting free rein to craft conflicted characters and indulge in world-building (oh hi favorite things ever) in a very specific – but still classified – “mode” that is challenging me like no other project I’ve done. So naturally I’ve fallen in love with the damn thing.



More as it progresses. ‘Til then keep it under your hats, palookas. That’s why I posted it on the internet. It’s private-like.

Elsewise, in an effort to maintain my energy and sanity, I’ve been working out at the gym like a motherfucker. Getting up at 5 a.m. five days a week: cardio, weights, kickboxing, yoga. Basically I’m living on endorphins and espresso at this point – not an uncommon state for a writer – in addition to enough ibuprofen to do laps in. Anybody reading this in their 20s best be enjoying your youthful resilience or I swear to Christmas I will beat that shit out of you. For me, now, almost every day some body part or other starts whining: ooh, my shoulder, ooh, my calves, my back, my ass, my toes. Places that never used to hurt after I exercised, but surprise! you wake up and you’re a few months from 40 and you didn’t even think that thing back there was a muscle, much less that you could tweak it by sneezing on the elliptical machine.

It’s times like this – the morning times, when my feet hit the floor, the joints in my body cracking loud and continuously like microwave popcorn – I remember a TV clip I saw years and years ago, a sports reporter interviewing a decathlete, a guy who’d chosen to keep competing despite a strained hamstring.

The – clearly dim – reporter asked later, “But weren’t you in pain?”

The decathlete answered, “Well, we do ten sports. There’s always something’s gonna hurt. Soon as you accept that, you stop worrying about it.”

There’s always something’s gonna hurt.

Well I’ll swan, from the mouths of jocks…



….Buddha speaks.

Meanwhile, between the soreness itself and the magma-hot Indonesian muscle rub I use to combat it, the searing pain reminds me I’m alive.

And holy shitsnacks am I really, really alive lately.

So alive, in fact, I’m doing something I never thought I’d do: standing up in a room full of people and reading my writing aloud.

(I’m ruining that slick segue to say, “Did you catch that slick segue?”)






Under the aegis of Shades & Shadows, a dark fantasy, horror, and science fiction performance series, I’ll be reading an excerpt from my book…





…at the California Institute of Abnormal Arts (honestly, who didn’t see that one coming?) (okay, maybe the reporter), located in North Hollywood:




I, for one, feel very reassured to see John’s Lawn Mower & Saw right across the street. If ever a company name cried out for dark fantasy, “John’s Lawn Mower & Saw” ranks right up there for ominous titles. These Shades & Shadows folks know what they’re doing.

More specific details:



I’m not sure why I’m billed last, but I’m pretty confident it’s a badge of honor. Either that, or someone paid them to put me on at the very end so I’d have the whole show to work up enough anxiety vomit to spew over the entire first row. And now that I think about it, that sounds way more plausible than the first explanation.

Here’s the deal: I have seven minutes to read, and a couple ideas for passages to use – but I know these stories so well, it’s hard to take a step back and decide which section might be best for people who aren’t familiar with my work. So in the Comments section below, or if you’d like to contact me through Twitter (@EvilGalProds), I would LOVE to hear suggestions from anyone and everyone who’s read Cowface And Other Hilarious Stories About Death. Maybe a favorite scene, favorite character, favorite moment – fact is, I’m begging for help in not putting a bunch of people to sleep with my yappity-yap. It’s either this, or show my boobs onstage, and frankly I think the boobs thing will only hold them for 30 seconds – which still leaves me six and a half minutes to fill. Nobody wants to see what comes after that.

I pre-appreciate and thank you for your advice, and I hope to see you Saturday*!


P.S. Cowface will be available for sale at the show (with free Evil Gal bookmarks inside!), and I’d be thrilled to sign anything you bring. Even body parts. Even severed body parts, because in California that’s only, what? A misdemeanor, tops? I WILL DO THAT SHIT FOR YOU, FRIEND.




* Those seated in the first row may want to bring plastic sheeting. There’s a possibility it could get very Millie Brown Does Gallagher.

June 2nd, 2014 by Mere Smith

TRADE and The Nextnextnext

As most of my readers know, at the beginning of 2014, I spent eight weeks isolated in a cabin up in Washington state, writing a spec script of “Elementary”.

I’ve talked about it a bit already, but as I gain more distance and perspective, I’m starting to understand why the entire experience, rather than simply a writing retreat, was such a true SHAKABUKU – though not at all in the way I’d expected.

For in all that blessed quiet alone time – no TV, no Internet, no people – not only did I write, I also started sorting out a lot of tangled issues in my head – issues that tend to get glossed over, de-prioritized and ignored in the day-to-day bustle of what I call


The long succession of musts and shoulds and have-to’s and plow-forwards we line up in order to fulfill our roles as productive members of society. It’s hard to remove yourself from that flow – to step away and assess The Nextnextnext – and your place in it – objectively.

For me, the issues and questions that arose out of this assessment weren’t gigantic, just, y’know – what kind of human being am I becoming, and what do I want to do with the rest of my life?

The little things.

Despite my copious Sherlock research, my love for the characters, and excitement about my story – I was finding a lot of resistance within myself about finishing the spec (which I still haven’t finished, by the way) (note to aspiring writers: established writers leave stories undone, too, and it eats the core of our souls just like yours; that’s how you know you’re a writer) – but this time the usual suspects weren’t even called in for questioning.

The resistance wasn’t because I didn’t have the story broken, or because I was unsure of the show’s architecture, voice or tone. It wasn’t the standard writers’ resistance – which mainly consists of stamping our tiny feet and sniveling, “This is so hard! I hate this job! And such small portions!” *




No, this was a deeper resistance I felt somewhere in my chest and guts – which makes sense, given it hadn’t yet reached my brain – a resistance I had to fight every time I sat down at the computer. That supremely uncomfortable-in-your-own-skin sensation – the Germans have an awesome word for it: existenzangst – that, if you’re lucky, 10 years down the line you look back on and say, “Of course that’s when everything got uncomfortable – that was when everything started to change.”

Because when you’re comfortable, there’s no reason to change. It’s only when you find yourself struggling with something that change becomes a necessity.

I was resisting this script, resisting finishing.

Because despite how pleased I was with the writing…

…I wasn’t pleased to be writing it.

The more I thought about my goals in life, and the further removed I got from


the more I realized that the human being I was becoming, the human being I was struggling with… was constantly afraid.

That human being just wanted to finish this script so she could land the next job – any job – afraid of losing her career momentum, afraid of being broke again (hey there childhood), afraid that her entire choice of profession was just a terrible, terrible mistake and the Fraud Police were due any minute.

And as for what I wanted to do with the rest of my life? The only thing I was absolutely 100% sure of…

…was that I didn’t want to be writing that fucking “Elementary” spec.

Which scared the watery shit out of me.

It took eight weeks of existenzangst and total withdrawal from The Nextnextnext before I could look at myself in the mirror and admit that after getting burned out by Hollywood and taking 2013 off to pursue fiction, I was now taking the safe road back to show business – the well-trod conventional path – writing other people’s stories, not my own.

Not out of choice, but out of fear.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I haven’t been shilling my own shit for years. Aside from the four original pilots that didn’t get sold — this was all pre-FXX/SyFy/Netflix-explosion, dammit to hell — I’ve been lucky; I’ve been close. I wrote a video-game adaptation pilot for Starz (lost in the shake-up of new management). The project I developed in 2012 was sold to HBO and a Big Name, NDA yadda yadda – and before that, I’d been on the brink of a deal with Showtime and John Singleton – so brinky it made Daily Variety.


(Right?!? Even though the deal fell through, that pic reminds me it was real, which is weird because sometimes it feels like it was just a really cool dream — since I’m clearly too nerdy to actually have had that happen to me.)

But in my return to screenwriting, I was letting my fear take away my agency. I was acting from a place of scarcity and desperation – a place I’ve spent more time in than out — instead of forging my own path from a mindset of freedom and infinite possibility. I was betraying my capacity for bravery, my own desires…

…and worst of worsts, I was letting this fear dictate my creative choices.

At this point, as an artist, you have to bitchslap yourself and go, “What the FUCK, dude?”


This picture was as close as I could come to that What The Fuck? feeling.

So, after reconciling myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to finish the “Elementary” spec in Washington, and accepting that I had been making choices out of cowardice — which is true; that’s not self-denigration — I made the deliberate decision to scorch my creative earth and start from scratch.

This year I consciously declined to enter the Monkey Dance Competition called staffing season, and instead chose to concentrate on my original work, with the goal of selling a pilot of my own this year. It’s a big goal — okay, it’s fucking GIGANTIC fucking goal — but I’ve had a story noodling around my brain for several years now, and in the upcoming weeks and months, I’ll be working on it the same way I worked on TRADE (more on that in a sec). The timing may be a little wackadoodle — it always seems to take longer than you expect — and I may run into six tons of snags, each of which will seem, at the time, insurmountable. But I’ve been doing this long enough to know that a battle of wills between you and a snag will always be won by the party that cares more. And after plodding through two months of existenzangst, re-evaluating my life and my art, I can assure you that if I’m working on something I want to be working on, I will always be the the party that cares more. 

And thus we come to TRADE.



TRADE was an idea I lived with for years before I ever seriously considered writing it. Back then, I think I knew I wasn’t yet technically proficient enough to do the story justice, but once I’d learned a trick or 4 million, I finally felt capable of creating something worth reading, watching, experiencing.

The genesis of the script itself was borne of several factors, not least of which was becoming friends with a high-end escort I’ll call R. I’d already had friends who had done or were doing various kinds of sex work, but never had I gotten a chance to inquire about all the obnoxious things you’ve always wanted to know about sex work but were afraid to ask. Luckily R. was very accommodating of my ignorance and (sometimes invasive and I’m sure insulting) questions, and what she told me was so much more interesting than most folks’ standard ideas of prostitution, that’s when I knew it was time to write TRADE.

I wrote TRADE because the story spoke to me about being female, being commodified and objectified, the “hierarchy” of sex work, subversive models of power, and — I won’t lie — whipping back the covers to demystify all types of sex — from vanilla to kink, hetero to whatevergoes, fetishes to obsessions, and the psychology behind it all. I thought it was a story worth telling, and a story I could tell in a way no one else could. After finishing the final polish, I felt like, fuck yeah!

As a writer, there is no better feeling.

More than one person has asked me, “But why are you putting it online? Doesn’t that make it less valuable? Less likely to be picked up?” And the answer to that, of course, is that it’s been available for years and years to industry insiders — but they did nothing with it. So rather than letting it accumulate virtual dust on my hard drive, I thought that giving my readers — and the web at large, I guess — new content (or in NBCese, “New To You!” content) was not only a great way of sharing a story I feel fuck yeah! about, but perhaps a way to spark discussions about women and the (literal) commodification of sexuality.

But if I’m to be perfectly, perfectly honest, I also wanted to post TRADE as a proof to myself:


You have done this before.

And you can do it again.

The kind of human being I’m becoming wants to be fearless, wants to tell my stories, my way — and so I share one with you now.


Ladies and gentlemen, I offer you for download:




I hope it gets you off.




(PC: Right-click on link and save file. Mac: CTRL + click on link, Save Linked File)

* This is an old joke about two biddies who go to a restaurant where they declare the food is terrible… “And such small portions!”

May 31st, 2014 by Mere Smith



JUNE 2, 2014




April 10th, 2014 by Mere Smith

Unlike Scatman Crothers, I Made It Out Of The Overlook


I learned how to do that – the whole inhale, exhale thing – while I was up in Washington the past few months.

It’s not always easy to breathe in L.A.

Sure, there’s the smog and the choking pretentiousness of your fellow man, but sometimes the city itself sits heavy on the chest. The deals, the traffic, the people. Makes it hard to get air in. You small-sip it, never noticing how each sip gets smaller – until suddenly you’re Giles Corey being pressed to death – SPLAT.

L.A. was SPLATting me.

So I went to stay in a small cabin on a small hill, 20 minutes outside a small town, in order to write a spec script, which I did… minus a couple unfinished scenes I’m still battling like some fucking Game Of Thrones character who won’t die: the Beric Dondarrion of scripts. (That one was for you, bro.) However, spec aside, I found a lot more than I expected in that cabin – a lot more than I expected in me – like how to finally



Deeply. Fully.

I’ll write about my experiences soon. For now they’re still fermenting in the old brain juice – and as the ancient philosopher Orson Welles once said, “Ye shall blog no whine before its tyme.” He was a weird guy.

But other things press!

(If you hadn’t already noticed, this post’s gonna ramble. I am an out of practice blogger – which intellectually is, like, one step above coral – and I got a lot of ground to cover, so give a bitch a break.)

First let’s talk about this:



That’s right, ladies and germos,

APRIL 12 – 13

I will be at

BOOTH 157 – BOOTH 157 – BOOTH 157

(I call that “cheap 3-D”: 3-Damn Times)

UCLA alums, I have already offered to lay down cover fire if shit gets real.

Naturally, I’ll be accompanied in this endeavor by my fellow author and co-founder of The Asylum Collective (unclench! I’ll get there!), Eric Sipple – also known as my webmaster-slash-bitch, aka W/B, aka Sippy Cup.

And yeah, I do call him Sippy Cup. He still answers my texts. Who’s got the low self-esteem now, YOU SIXTH-GRADE BITCHES?

Whoa. Middle-school flashback.

Point is, this weekend I’m gonna be in downtown Los Angeles shilling books, motherfuckers –



like the one right up there

plus this one down here



and this next one too, which I only wrote 2% of but

was edited by Leslie Marinelli, publishing mogul extraordinaire



These are all really fun books – ones I swear you won’t regret reading unless you’re really trying to be an asshole – and if you’re nice – or even better, if you’re not – I’ll sign them for you! That’s right! Totally ruin a brand new book by scrawling my stupid name in it – I will DO that shit for you, man – because you’re my friend, faceless anonymous blog reader!

I can’t speak for Eric, though, who will be shamelessly flogging his own book like a sad old hooker with tits to her toes. Just don’t throw pennies at him this time, okay? It’s mean and it makes him cry. And being mean and making him cry is my job.

Speaking of which, earlier I mentioned The Asylum Collective, and you were like, “Whaaaat?” and I was like, “Unclench! I’ll get there!” and now we’re here.


Eric and I have been kicking an idea back and forth for a little over a year, and in the next few paragraphs, I’m going to give you the smallest amount of information I can get away with without someone going, “Well why the fuck did you bring it up?”

The Asylum Collective really started coming together after I wrote this.

I hadn’t intended for that blog post to become some sort of art manifesto – actually, I’m pretty sure it’s still not a manifesto, since I don’t know how to write a manifesto; rather surprisingly, there was no Manifesto Writing course at Brown – but through the process of writing that post, a bunch of nebulous stuff I’d been turning around in my head suddenly clarified. Thoughts about art and social media, the nature of inspiration and collaboration between artists, the currently-shifting rubrics for cultural gatekeepers.

The Asylum Collective will be a website.

And yet it will be so much more than a website.

We’re months away from launch – hell, with our schedules, maybe several, several months – but we knew the project was a fucking behemoth from the jump, and we’re not going anywhere. We hope you stick around, too.

For those of you who don’t know, the very name, The Asylum Collective, comes from the imaginary “asylum” I run on my Twitter account (@EvilGalProds) – the joke being, of course, that you’d have to be crazy to follow me.  So the Asylum is already in existence in one platform – we’re just going to build an expansive new wing – where you can draw on the walls.

But if I told you any more, I’d have to lobotomize you.

April 1st, 2014 by Mere Smith

Update On The Shining

From January 14 to March 14




Details to come soon. Just wanted to let y’all know what I’ve been up to for the last three months.

January 18th, 2014 by Mere Smith

Recording The Shining



January 18, 2014 – Day Fourteen 

I saw the sun today.

For six minutes.

Looked just like I remembered it.

Went back inside.




January 17, 2014 – Day Thirteen 

Literally me today.




January 16, 2014 – Day Twelve 

So that’s what it looked like when I got here.

This is what it looked like today:


Strangely, though, the fog seems to act like some kind of productivity blanket (I was about to type “or shroud,” but the fog’s spooky enough on its own) – making me feel like I’m all curled up away from the world…

…which, okay, yes, for all practical intents and purposes I was curled up already. But you know how there’s a difference between when you dance in front of other people, and when you dance by yourself? (Don’t pretend you don’t understand what I’m talking about, you lying dancing liarpantses.) The fog makes me feel like I’m dancing in a room with no windows, no prying eyes, no judgments.

See, I don’t know how other TV folk write specs, but me, I need full immersion in the show before I feel confident enough to recreate it. Like living in Spain to learn Spanish. The original story I bring to the spec is the easy part: it’s molding that story to someone else’s vision that takes work. This means watching episodes over and over and over until I can “hear” the characters’ voices without trying. It also means – same as I did for my “Sopranos” spec 200 years ago – logistically breaking down and diagramming a couple shows, as seen here in my oh-so-cryptic code:


(That’s “Poison Pen”, by the way: S2E4, by Robert Doherty and Liz Friedman.)

This allows me to see the fundamental architecture of a script, like a reverse-engineered outline – as well as letting me track certain patterns inherent in the show, i.e.: on average, how many locations are they hitting per act? Over how many days does the story take place? How many interiors vs. how many exteriors? The number of amazing deductions Sherlock makes in a scene? The number Joan makes? (Answer: surprisingly, a LOT. To be honest, I didn’t realize how well the writers were balancing the deductive labor, since Sherlock usually makes the more outlandish leaps of reason, and those are the ones that stick with you.) What kind of space is given to the topics of addiction, or Moriarty, or the dynamics of working with the police? And on and blah and on. Like I said, total immersion.

(And if you’re not a writer, I apologize, because that entire previous paragraph probably bored the fuckstuffing out of you.)

All this shit is what you’d normally hash out in a writers’ room with a bunch of other people. Unfortunately with a spec, it’s 100% All On You, So Do Your Homework And Don’t Fuck It Up.

That’s what I mean by a productivity blanket. The fog erases the outside world and allows me to disappear into “Elementary”’s.

So don’t mind me, I’m just gonna keep practicing my little dance in here until I’m ready to hit the club.




January 15, 2014 – Day Eleven 




January 14, 2014 – Day Ten 

Act Two down.

Hello, Acts Three and Four.




January 13, 2014 – Day Nine 

Sherlock’s bees.

I am one of them.

I have just placed the outline for the Teaser and Act One in the 14th honeycomb on the right.

Sure, it’s just masticated nectar at this point, but soon…

Soon it will be sweet bee vomit.




January 12, 2014 – Day Eight 

Entering the deep waters.

It’s dangerous.

You guys stay here.




January 11, 2014 – Day Seven 


Inside day.

Schizophrenic atmospheric conditions: foggy, cloudy, sunny, windy, rainy, wrath-of-god-rainy, Treenados. The weather needs some Haldol.

Tomorrow I start building the new architecture of my original story. Not as daunting as building something completely ex nihilo, but not not daunting, either. Obviously a lot’s changed on the show since I left off the spec last year (for example, it turns out Irene Adler and Moriarty are the same person, who is also Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones, thus officially making Natalie Dormer THE biggest badass on television, dragons or no motherfuckin’ dragons, khaleesi) — and so adjustments have to be made.

Definitely nervous, but the same way I imagine a guy feels in the batter’s box: yes, there’s anxiety, and a weird, very public, dread — Hey Rocky! Watch me pull a three-and-out of my hat! — but there’s also this burning desire to swing so hard you knock the cover off the goddamn ball, just like Chipper Jones did a couple years ago. An internal revving, a “bring it,” a “let’s do this.” (Note to aspiring screenwriters: never, never, ever actually put those phrases in a script. Trust me, I’m saving careers here.)

Am anxious to rise tomorrow, to do yoga, to get started.




January 10, 2014 – Day Six 

Remember how I said I worked like a MONSTER yesterday?

Was reading Sherlock this afternoon on the couch, when suddenly the book got really close to my eyes, then eased back to a normal distance, then got really close again, then slowly back to normal… it was only when it happened the third time that I realized it wasn’t the book moving — it was my head. I was, quite literally, trying to read and sleep at the same time. And as the time-honored saying in my clan goes: Fuck that. I’m taking a nap.

So I did. Right there in the middle of the afternoon, on the couch, curled under a blanket, for two solid hours.

Let me tell you, they may’ve been two of the greatest hours of my life.

Not because of the sleep — though the sleep was fucking fantastic, seriously — but because I didn’t feel guilty about it.


So if you do as much headshrinkery and yoga as I do, you get real familiar with the phrase, “Give yourself permission to… (whatever).”

Give yourself permission to feel anger.

Give yourself permission to relax your shoulder muscles.

It seems a little odd at first, the notion that there’s some other “you” you need to appeal to in order to get something done — some higher, more-authoritative “you” that apparently reigns over the rest of… well, you. (Freud would call it the superego — though for some reason, that’s always given me the mental image of a red capital E flying around in a cape.) If you wanna get all neurological about it, we’re talking about your frontal lobe, the area code in your brain that spans higher reasoning and judgment — the part of you that keeps you from doing insane and dangerous things, like speeding in the rain on a mountain road, or befriending a rabid lion, or trying to steal a sip off my mom’s margarita. All that shit will get you killed, son.

Even Bill Nye would agree — that’s how scientifically accurate this is; I’m not fucking around — there is technically a “you” that’s sorta in charge of the rest of you. (“Sorta” is a science word.)  And as I’ve learned from both the yoga and the headshrinkage, just being aware and conscious enough to ask that “you” for permission is usually enough for “you” to give it over. After all, it’s not as if your higher reasoning is gonna be like, No, I do not give you permission to relax your shoulder muscles! I like the way they’re feeling all pinchy and hurty and tight. I hope our whole neck cramps up tomorrow! 

(Man, superego, you’re a dick!)

(Or maybe that’s just Freud again.)

No, it seems “ask and ye shall receive” actually is the case — and like all excruciating cliches, it is only redeemed by the merit of being true.

That’s why this afternoon, when my head nearly crashed into the book a third time, I thought about all the work I’d done yesterday, and all the work I’d accomplished so far that day — and how this retreat, in its remoteness and quietude, is almost forcing me to be more mindful, more aware of what I want and what I need — and as so rarely happens in my regular, driven, ambitious life, I finally — and fully — gave myself permission to rest.

I slept like that dog up there.




January 9, 2014 – Day Five 

What writer’s retreat is complete without a library?

At last, the Box O’Books arrived! Also included: my zombie slippers and yoga mat. Y’know, the important stuff.

Worked like a fucking MONSTER today; it felt fabulous.  Also I ate some bacon.




January 8, 2014 – Day Four 

This is what happens when I have no TV at night.


I’m practically almost fucking Amish now… if the Amish liked to knit their clothes out of obnoxiously bright, sequined, and silk-feathered yarn.

So I’m Amishpunk, which is just like steampunk, only without all the newfangled technology.




January 7, 2014 – Day Three 

So here’s the Overlook Hotel at dusk. Don’t worry, you don’t have to tell me how amazingly incredibly perfect it is, I already know. So perfect in fact that I keep waiting for Someone In Authority to barge in, grab me by the neck, and growl, “Who said you deserve to be here?”

Sadly, I ask myself variations on that question more often than I’d like.

Only three days into the woods, and in the absolute drop off of bustle and hum, I find myself making casual realizations like this: that I often feel unworthy of the good things in my life. It’s as if I believe, deep in my bones (completely irrationally, I’m well aware) that at some point in the past I committed an unspeakable crime… only I can’t remember what it is, just that I owe for it. I owe for it. I’m on the red side of the moral balance sheets, and to wish for or receive anything beyond a basic survival amount of happiness is… I don’t know… flouting punishment? tempting fate? getting greedy?

Anyway, something horrible and indecorous that will inevitably lead to the end of the world. Not to be grandiose.

As I said, though, this particular irrational thought — that I am somehow unworthy of happiness — isn’t unique to my current situation. I carry it around with me every day. It’s simply that here in the Overlook, when 90% of the outside noise disappears, the echo of that thought sticks around a lot longer, clanging and re-clanging off the silent walls, off the inside of my head. And I am grateful for the quiet.

For in this moment, at least — and maybe it only takes a succession of these moments, staying mindful enough to create a succession of these moments, to make the feeling disappear permanently — instead of letting that sense of unworthiness slip back into my primordial angst soup like it always does, this time I’m grabbing it by the neck and growling, “Who said you deserve to be here?”




January 6, 2014 – Day Two 

Went for my morning run — frost-covered fields, ice-encrusted hay crunching under my feet. Cold didn’t bother me at all — was layered as a wedding cake — but my lungs felt ready to explode. Pretty convinced there’s no air in the air here. EPA might wanna look into that. After the run, meditated. Like a boss.

Forgot how fast I read when I’m not distracted (i.e., with the TV on in the background, or constantly checking Twitter, email, Tumblr, phone games, etc.). Have already plowed through An Anthropologist On Mars by Oliver Sacks and You’d Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs, and just started Manic: A Memoir by Terri Cheney. Only one other “recreational” book until my Box O’Books arrives on Thursday — Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Feel like I’m adjusting my mental to the slower pace. Have a horrifying suspicion that I may be forced into town to procure knitting material.

Yes, fuckers. I knit scarves. Only scarves, but I can fucking knit. Yuk it up.

Script-wise, been re-re-reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vols. I & II and taking notes — pointedly now, knowing the basic elements of my story, searching out pertinent twists on classic Sherlockian devices.

Lovely here. But.

I miss the Finance.




January 5, 2014 – Day One

Am somewhere beyond this mountain.  Cabin is amazing in that way where you say the “MAY” part a really long time. Unpacked all my shit – surprising, for me – while blasting music, singing at the top of my lungs, dancing. Hope my happiness eats away at @saalon like a cancer.



January 3rd, 2014 by Mere Smith


A beautiful, hopeful, happy, and shameless New Year to y’all! 


So this pretty much sums up my take on the beginning of 2014:




It’s a giggle fit in the offing, a gleam in the eye, an adventure soon to be swashbuckled!


(Okay, okay, that was a totally cheap mislead and I’m sorry. Those of you who read my books know I can’t pass up a cheap mislead. If there is a mislead on Clearance in Filene’s Basement, I will inevitably buy it.)

Therefore to clarify:



Yes, dear readers: as of this Sunday, January 5, I will be temporarily relocating to an undisclosed location (okay, it’s a cabin) in Washington state for the next month or so, to seek solitude, inspiration, and shakabuku, defined in Grosse Pointe Blank as “a swift, spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever.”

‘Cause I think I could use one of those right about now.

See, by the end of 2013, I realized I was doing a lot of writing – like, a LOT a LOT — but none of it was for TV. Which is a tad self-defeating for a TV writer. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve got ideas coming out of every orifice (oh yeah, even that one; in fact, those ideas might be the best) for original shows, but after spending two years in Development Hell (otherwise known as Sorry-But-Your-Material-Is-So-Out-Of-The-Box-We-Don’t-Even-Know-Where-The-Box-Is-Anymore-And-Oh-By-The-Way-I-See-You-Have-A-Vagina-Let-My-Assistant-Show-You-Out), I switched focus to fiction for a time just to offset the accumulated maulings of my creative self-esteem. The only problem with fiction is that it pays about .000000013 cents an hour, so it’s time to get staffed on TV again before I’m reduced to living in a microwave* under the 405.

But in order to staff up, I gotta write some new TV material (apparently I can’t keep relying on that “Sopranos” spec like I used to; some nonsense about it being “dated” and “cancelled”), so I’m taking the rather drastic step of isolating myself in the woods in order to finish the “Elementary” spec I started earlier this year, only this time with no distractions – y’know, like getting interrupted by a brain cancer scare, and then withstanding medication FUBARs, and then publishing two books, and then flying to a foreign country to sell them, and then, and then, and then…

At this point, I’ve only got two solid plans for Washington:

  • research
  • write the spec

And given that the cabin has no TV (holy shit, I just got dizzy for a second), I’ll also be trying a couple other things, like:

  • reading the fuckton of books I’m shipping to myself
  • updating the blog daily – mind you, most of these updates will probably be two sentences long:
    • “Revised Act Three last night. Started My Booky Wook by Russell Brand.”
    • “Hey, did you guys know weed is legal in Washington? I mean, I think it is. Is it? I’m hungry.”
    • “I have begun speaking to the coyotes in their own language. All vowels. Bit like Hawaiian.”
  • staying off-grid as much as possible (insanely tough, but I’m committed)
  • 30 straight days of morning meditation
  • and various other mini-ARTprojects

Also, I’ll probably be Instagramming a bunch of pictures that may or may not document my descent into Jack Torrance territory.



I’ll miss you all terribly while I’m gone (seriously, I’m terrible at missing people; I’ll probably forget y’all even exist)(total lie: I’ll be grid-lurking at intervals), and if you write or tweet me and you don’t hear back, please know it’s for a good reason: I have walked off into the snow to die.

That, or I’m really focused on finishing the script.

At this point, I can see it going either way, so:





See you on the flipside, friendos!




* 10 bonus points if you now call this a “science oven”